Korean doctors' perception on doctor's social competency: Based on a survey on doctors

Claire Junga Kim, Ivo Kwon, Hee Jin Han, Yun Jung Heo, Ducksun Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Medicine is the practice that occurs in the context of the society. It requires interaction with individual patients, fellow doctors and other health care professionals, health care officials, public, institution, and the society as a whole. To date, medical practice in Korea has largely been concentrated on applying biomedical knowledge and skill to a patient. We defines 'social competency' as 'competency for medicine as a social institution.' This survey aims to grasp the current situation of Korean doctors' perception on social competency, in terms of necessity, satisfaction, learning experience, and possible intervention. Respondents generally recognized the necessity of social competencies but were not satisfied with their demonstration of those competencies. Competencies for 'understanding on law and institution' and 'communication' were perceived highly necessary. General satisfaction and each satisfaction rate on individual competencies were all below 'neutral,' showing their dissatisfaction. Especially, doctors assess their fellow doctors' competencies for 'understanding on law and institution' and 'understanding on human being and society' at the lowest level. The mismatch between perceived necessity and satisfaction shows the legitimate ground for educational intervention. The proportions of respondents who have learned on each domain of social competency were all below 70%. Learning experience on self-management and leadership was the least. Among possible remedy for low social competency, respondents perceived 'improvement on national health insurance' and 'improvement on resident training program' as the most urgently needed. The data from this preliminary survey can be utilized for educational and institutional intervention in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Medical practice
  • Medical professionalism
  • Medicine and society
  • Social competency


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